Red Alert
March 19, 2003 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Wonder would happen if the US ever goes to "Red Alert"? New Jersery knows. more...
posted by CrazyJub (50 comments total)
 
"If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror, you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the state's anti-terror czar says."

Ok, knowing that we may never ever round up all the terrorists, are we ever going to see condition "green"?
posted by CrazyJub at 9:33 AM on March 19, 2003


chill out.

"You literally are staying home, is what happens, unless you are required to be out. No different than if you had a state of emergency with a snowstorm."
posted by angry modem at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2003


guess i had better check my employee handbook to see if i get paid for days when a red alert won't let me get to work.

fun.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:37 AM on March 19, 2003


A snowflake won't shoot you for walking outside.
posted by CrazyJub at 9:40 AM on March 19, 2003


Tina lives in Princeton--she told me that during the last Orange Alert, there were police roadblocks on the highways, cars were being pulled over and searched and there were troops guarding bridges. That's much more high profile than anything that happened in Seattle at the same time.
posted by y2karl at 9:40 AM on March 19, 2003


Yeah, chill out. The government can declare this whenever it wants, and then you have no personal rights. Just chill out man. No problem.
posted by Hall at 9:41 AM on March 19, 2003


and there you have the foundations of the plan. once code red is declared, good and faithful citizens will retreat inside thier homes. media will broadcast only approved propoganda aimed at citizen reassurance and escalated patriotic emotions. perhaps a few thousand citizens will die in a horrible "terror" attack. shortly thereafter, gun collection squads will make the rounds. there will be violence, but nobody to report it. shortly after that, code red will be reduced to code orange and american subjects will be encouraged to emerge and pay homage to king dub the first.
posted by quonsar at 9:42 AM on March 19, 2003


angry modem: except that if you're out during a snowstorm, you're not an "enemy," subject to arrest or whatever the authorities decide, just for leaving your house. Or do they arrest people in New Jersey for going out when it snows?

Why doesn't anyone just come out and say the words "martial law"? That's what it'll be.
posted by RylandDotNet at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2003


You can practically see that tool salivate as you read his words. Now, how did that quote go about giving up freedom for security ...
posted by yhbc at 9:45 AM on March 19, 2003


Man ... I can't wait 'til this War on Terror is *cough* over *cough*
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:48 AM on March 19, 2003


If you go out on the roads during a declared state of emergency, you just get sent home, and you may be fined.

You'd only get arrested if you *refused* to go home, it think.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:50 AM on March 19, 2003


Man ... I can't wait 'til this War on Terror is *cough* over *cough*

Not in our lifetime. I have a feeling that the war on terror will be like the war on drugs, only worse.
posted by password at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2003


The thing is, one would assume that a "red alert" would be triggered by highly credible and specific knowledge on the part of the government that terrorists are about to do some terror. The very specificity of such knowledge, however, makes a nation-wide terror warning system completely pointless. If the FBI has knowledge of a plot to blow up the Rose Bowl, there's going to be martial law in New Jersey? Will Anchorage shut down in response to a plot to release lethal chemicals at Disney World? It doesn't make any sense.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:54 AM on March 19, 2003


Bring it on. I can't wait until they try it. All the Righties that thought this sort of thing would come from the Left should have an nice day.
posted by quirked at 9:56 AM on March 19, 2003


One more reason never to go to Jersey (with apologies to the Boss).
posted by hairyeyeball at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2003


if there ever is code red/martial law the Michigan Militia will probably start shooting. And I will be there right along with them. They aint no point in livin if you cant live.
posted by philcliff at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2003


Jesus X. Christ! These people think they own the entire planet!
posted by LowDog at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2003


If you go out on the roads during a declared state of emergency, you just get sent home, and you may be fined.

You'd only get arrested if you *refused* to go home, it think.


What if you're homeless?
posted by LowDog at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2003


I'm with mr_roboto - I just can't see this happening. Martial law will be specific to the area where there is a terrorist act. And the rest of us may just go home and cocoon like we did the evening of 9/11 because that's what we feel like doing - but the next day it'll be business as usual.
posted by orange swan at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2003


Red Alert: Severe Risk of a Terrorists Attack

Did we have anything similar to this during WWII?

With Pearl Harbor, sure after the attack martial law because the state of things that everything was in. Wonder if any of our members around during that time could chime in?
If the terrorists attacked near me, sure, no one would have to say: go home; but before?
posted by thomcatspike at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2003


american subjects will be encouraged to emerge and pay homage to king dub the first

An excellent post Quonsar. Scary too.

Still, it made me laugh.
posted by a3matrix at 10:09 AM on March 19, 2003


So the streets will be empty?
Nice!

Who wants to come to my "Red Alert Street Party Extravaganza!"?

I'll bring the keg, you bring the gas-masks.
posted by Newbornstranger at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2003


Code Orange: Celebrities walk down a shorter red carpet at the Oscars.

Code Red: Citizens of New Jersey lock themselves in homes, listen to WFMU until world is officially declared over.
posted by armacy at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2003


What's incredibly amazing is how no one is asking why the Pentagon got hit *after* New York had been bitchslapped twice. Green, yellow, orange, red or purple - the fact of the matter is that all we know for sure is that the guys calling the shots were unprepared then (they got hit repeatedly, including in their military HQ), and, judging from their actions thereafter (or lack of, more precisely) still unprepared now. Instead, they bring out the "we can shoot citizens" game board. This is no sinister conspiracy, but rather supreme (and equally sinister) incompetence. To the gallows with them, I say.
posted by magullo at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2003


A teacher friend of mine has been told to run drills with his students -- head for the basement, duck and cover, etc. -- as part of their red alert preparedness.
He said it feels more Cold War than WWII in its lack of specificity.
Good to see we've passed along duck and cover to another generation only to have the cynical among them transmogrify it into "put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye" once they get a handle on the true gravity of what kind of an attack would predicate such defense postures.
posted by chandy72 at 10:13 AM on March 19, 2003


. . . and to think I always wondered if I could take living in Jerusalem or Beiruit.
posted by hackly_fracture at 10:30 AM on March 19, 2003



posted by substrate at 10:42 AM on March 19, 2003


"Good to see we've passed along duck and cover to another generation..."

And it is a good idea today - just as it was then.

I know, I know, it's all very amusing to make fun of - but the simple reality is that in the case of most WMD style attacks you are far better off ducked and covered than you are standing up straight and looking out through a plate glass window.

Even in the case of a nearby nuke attack, unless you are in the relative mall area of total annihilation then you dramatically increase your odds by dropping and covering your head.

In the end, the advice comes down to "duck". And that is pretty good advice when things go to hell.

The only reason to oppose such advice is if you believe, somehow, that it is best to make sure you do nothing to protect yourself - that way you can make sure you are of maximum value as a hostage to your own fear.
posted by soulhuntre at 10:48 AM on March 19, 2003


"transmogrify" - very nice, and i thought "pedantic" was my mefi buzzword for the day
posted by Big_B at 10:55 AM on March 19, 2003


Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution: The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Ex parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866): "The petitioner [aiding dissidents] had not been captured while participating in hostile activities against the government, for an offense against the United States. Thus, the Court held that the petitioner could not properly be tried on a criminal offense by a military commission, appointed by the military commander, in a state where the courts were open and unobstructed. "

So what do you do to ensure that "dissidents" are rounded up? You capture them without habeas corpus under the aegis of "public safety," which could mean just about anything. In fact, it might be a very good question to find out how Bush, the DOJ and the DHS define "public safety" these days.
posted by ed at 10:55 AM on March 19, 2003


Isn't Habeas Corpus about the right to appeal unlawful capture, which in an emergency (read:red alert) doesn't seem like something you would be immediately privy too... You can appeal all you want...
posted by Big_B at 11:04 AM on March 19, 2003


Bring it on. I can't wait until they try it. All the Righties that thought this sort of thing would come from the Left should have an nice day.

Heh... Much as I'd like to see the look on a dittohead's face when his civil liberties are flushed away, I don't want to see it badly enough to see mine flushed away, too.
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:12 AM on March 19, 2003


From the Sept 20, 2001 Z-Gram:

"It was a provision the British wrangled out of their rulers in the 13th
century, forcing the rulers to bring an arrested person before a judge
within a short period who would look at the accusation or charge with an
impartial eye. As part of the habeus corpus tradition, you are presumed
innocent until proven guilty. Without it, you are guilty and have to prove
that you are innocent."

A story from the same source to illustrate:

A simple farmer of German background in the Ukraine in the early 1930s is
arrested on the accusation that he acted as a spy for Germany. He is
interrogated by one of the notorious Kommissars:

Farmer: "But I am innocent. You cannot prove my guilt."

Kommissar, while fingering his pistol:

"You have that wrong. You do not understand. I do not have to prove your
guilt. I can sit here all day, pick my nose, twiddle my thumb, clean my
fingernails, and wait for you to prove your innocence to me."
posted by Irontom at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2003


Look, nothing in that article even begins to imply you would be arrested or shot on sight, or that martial law would be declared. It says the emergency would be treated like a major snow storm. It basically says, if we believe there is a severe danger to this country, it will be easier to catch the terrorists and protect you if you stay at home. Seems logical to me.

For all of you running amok with this conspiracy theory, or laughing at the alert system remember some of us live and work near what are major targets. I am two blocks from the White House right now and live about 10 blocks from it.

If there is a red alert, my building will shut down and we are supposed to work from home. Which, incidently, is exactly what happens when the Federal Government calls a snow day.

I was here at work on Sept 11, 2001. We evecuated the building, not knowing if the White House would be a follow-up target. I'm glad we did, and would hope given such a threat in the future, we woud do the same.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:29 AM on March 19, 2003


Red alert in Jersey? Damn right! Go Devils!!! Whoooooooooo!!!!
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2003


FWIW, the local news in Indiana has implied (and sometimes out-and-out stated) that upon commencement of war in Iraq, the state's risk level would be raised from orange to red. For example:

From police and city officials to airport and SMG security agents, many local administrators held meetings Tuesday to discuss a possible jump to Code Red status. It would be the first Code Red since the Department of Homeland Security implemented the color alert system after Sept. 11, 2001.

...

With that in mind, many are anticipating a jump to Code Red, signifying an extremely high likelihood of terrorist attack, as soon as a war with Iraq begins. And both local and state officials say they are ready.


(Source: here, via Google news)

I can only assume this is hysteria and misinformation. But it sits ill in my stomach next to the N.J. rantings...
posted by Zurishaddai at 11:52 AM on March 19, 2003


So, like, what happens to, you know, *elections* under a code red?

Chew on that for a second.
posted by mediareport at 12:44 PM on March 19, 2003


relative mall area of total annihilation

Isn't that Frank'n'Stein?
posted by zanpo at 12:47 PM on March 19, 2003


More Code Red possibilities:

Airlines adopt free rebooking policy: In other words, should all airports be frozen and citizens' rights to travel curtailed, the airlines are flexible to your travel needs, should they ever return. Expedia has also offered a waiver of cancellation fees.

Delware archdiocessan schools are equipped with 10-hour packs. But the question is how long a Code Red would go on. If parents were incapable of picking up their children, say to be shot on sight under a trigger-happy National Guardsman, then how would Homeland Security provide for them after ten hours?

Meanwhile, the L.A. Daily News speculates that "most public places" will continue operating normally.
posted by ed at 1:09 PM on March 19, 2003


pjgulliver Look, nothing in that article even begins to imply you would be arrested or shot on sight, or that martial law would be declared. It says the emergency would be treated like a major snow storm.

From the article:

"you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home"

So, what, do we give our enemies backrubs and pumpkin pie now? I'm guessing if this goes according to the article, and you're caught wandering around outside, and the police stop you and ask what you're doing, and you insist that you're just walking about, exercising the rights to freedom that every American citizen enjoys, you'll be locked up at the very least if you don't hightail it back to your safe little house and turn the television back on. And, as someone else pointed out, snowstorms don't open fire on you if you decide that they're not all that.

We all know what happens to "traitors" these days.

I'm starting to become seriously concerned if elections are going to be allowed next time around. We might not want to risk the possible disruption of the government that a changing of the guard might entail. Just for a little while, until our war against a noun is over...
posted by majcher at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2003


Does anyone else find it a bit odd that the only official statement as to what would happen in the case of a Red Alert comes from an official no one has heard of in New Jersey? I'm not saying it's false, but there's something about it that doesn't ring quite right. Moreover, he states that all non-health related businesses would have to shut down during such a level. That implies to me that it couldn't be a long term situation at all, because I seriously doubt people are going to be willing to lose income by being forced to close for more than two or three days. In any case, this fellow is frightening.
posted by Schismatic at 1:29 PM on March 19, 2003


quonsar: american subjects will be encouraged to emerge and pay homage to king dub the first

I already do that every time I listen to Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
posted by eyebeam at 1:55 PM on March 19, 2003


Schismatic: Well, here's what happens under Code Red from Tom ("Don't contemplate what we won't tell you. We will strive to tell you as little as possible as slow as we can.") Ridge itself :

In addition to the previously outlined Protective Measures, the following may be applied:
  • Assigning emergency response personnel and pre-positioning specially trained teams; Monitoring, redirecting or constraining transportation systems;
  • Closing public and government facilities; and
  • Increasing or redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs.
posted by ed at 2:30 PM on March 19, 2003




Vidiot's article also says 11,000 Iraqi nationals in the U.S. will be interviewed by the FBI.
posted by letitrain at 2:54 PM on March 19, 2003


Majcher: that is a statement by the reporter. Not a quote from a goverment source. It might be true, it's probably an alarmist headline. The point is, we don't know.
posted by pjgulliver at 3:08 PM on March 19, 2003


Well, I'm officially creeped out.
posted by Outlawyr at 3:10 PM on March 19, 2003


vidiot: Let's not forget Muslim men being forced to register with the U.S. Internment camps anyone?
posted by ed at 3:59 PM on March 19, 2003


Code Orange: Celebrities walk down a shorter red carpet at the Oscars.

Code Red: Citizens of New Jersey lock themselves in homes, listen to WFMU until world is officially declared over.


I guess all the talk about a new alert level between orange and red was just rumor....but with this in hand it doesn't sound like a bad idea.
posted by tdstone at 5:21 PM on March 19, 2003


Does anyone else find it a bit odd that the only official statement as to what would happen in the case of a Red Alert comes from an official no one has heard of in New Jersey?

Well, keep in mind that New Jersey has had previous experience with invasions.
posted by SPrintF at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2003


« Older Dogs in funny hats   |   War Nazi Iraq failure of democracy Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments